CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Three

It's time for Issue #3 of CCLemon99 Magazine. This is a little thing I started back in October of last year with Issue #1 and followed up with it again in February with Issue #2. This is where I take smaller topics that have no business being fleshed out into full-on posts. I have some neat bits today...and one hell of a lead story that I'm sure you're well aware of at this point...


Kamen. Rider. J...........SHFiguarts!!!!!!!!

It's happening!!! I hope it's happening at least... This little glimmer of hope has been the best Figuarts news since...well, since Juspion, frankly. A prototype of Kamen Rider J was shown in Singapore at C3 CharaExpo 2016. Forgive me for not giving proper credit where credit is due on the photo and initial report (if you know where the crooked photo originated, let me know), but infinite props to @CoralianRainbow on twitter for getting the coveted Internet FIRST!!!11! award in giving me the heads up...followed by everyone else.

If you're not sure when the obsession began...let me take you on a little journey through time...

At first there was some playfulness in my long descent into madness...

This was pretty short-lived, however...

Then I started replying to random, unrelated tweets...

One down...

Then... I felt like I had to call Bandai out on their almost intentional dickery.

Hopefully J doesn't end up on a shelf next to this guy. : [

Finally......FINALLY Bandai read something I wrote and was like "Oh yeah, CCLemon99??? ......shut up!"

Look at the date... Less than a week before it's surprise showing in Singapore!

I guess in the end this could be the book closing in the best way possible. My channel has less than a year of regularity and I finally get to close out the Showa(ish) era of SHF Kamen Rider and get into some Heisei stuff...possibly at a later date. We'll see.

Maybe this is my going-away present from Bandai after all...

Yes...yes I can, son.


The Farewell

As you might remember, I made the announcement last month that I would be ending weekly uploads when my channel turns 10-years old next June. The reaction was pretty much as I was expecting, I suppose. Yeah, it is more of a big deal to me than it is to anyone else...but I don't know. I'd like to think somewhere out there someone is bummed that they won't be getting a new video from me on a weekly basis. Frankly I'm not entirely sure how I kept with myself for this long. It's been over five years since I've missed a week. How in the world did I accomplish that?? It's a hard machine to shut down, but the process has begun.

Thanks to those who had nice things to say. People have come and gone over the years, but there have been a core group that has stuck with me as far back as I can remember. But really...if you're reading this, you're the best.



Before I can finish off what I started, there is the matter of my upcoming 500th video. It is coming up very, very soon. As I write this post I am also editing it together along with it's sister video going up the same day (I think).

It's going to be one where I get back to my roots (which some would argue I never left). It's definitely a review, not a video. It also features lots and lots of expensive plastic. I mean... that doesn't really narrow it down when it comes to old Tokusatsu toys, but you'll see what I mean.

I also updated my schedule on the right side of the page. It now runs through most of 2016. There is quite a bit of Sentai mecha and a Blue SWAT month to look forward to...along with a number of surprises...

Mark the date! The 500th video will be up on the 14th of August!


New And Upcoming CD Releases

-Zyuohger Mini Album 2 and Original Soundtrack 1 were both released on the 29th of June. This keeps with the strange new tradition of the first OST being released in July-ish instead of May as it had for the decade+ prior to Ninninger.

-Kamen Rider Amazons has a future CD out from Columbia! The 2-Disc Soundtrack will be released on the 3rd of August.

-Ultraman CDs...many of them! Columbia has been releasing plenty of new CDs to celebrate 50 years of the franchise. The next two releases come out on the 20th of this month. There is a CD of entirely Ichiro Mizuki Ultraman songs, and a Best-Of CD centered around the theme song from Ultraman Orb.

-...and now for the biggest news of the batch. Jumborg Ace, Triple Fighter, and Fireman are all getting brand new music collection releases on the 20th of July! These are sure to be rare in five year's time.


Shout!Factory's Choriki Sentai Ohranger

The last time I did one of these CCLemon99 Magazines, the excellent Kakuranger DVD set had been up for pre-order. This time around, the Ohranger set has been announced, but is not yet ready for pre-order. We're still quite far from it's release date (November street date, I'm sure the direct-purchase date is sooner) but am still super-excited for this release.

The main reason I bring this up is because I was wondering if I should go-ahead and post my (largely complete) tear-down of the series. I've done reviews of many series and movies over many, many posts...but with this release on the horizon I feel like I should wait until the official release is either out of very close to being out. I'm leaning toward waiting...

Either way, when the series does go up for pre-order on Shout!'s website, you can bet that I'll be there to pre-order it on day one. I recommend that you go ahead and do the same.

P.S. I know many people are asking for the Ohranger Movie to be included. Forget that, I say. Give us the option to play the credits with the intended theme songs. That'd be a worthy feature! Hehe


Name That Tune (Tokusatsu Edition)

I made the appeal to you, the readers, in my previous issues. I was rewarded with a few new entries which I have secured the discs to. I have enough non-soundtrack songs for two-three more entries. In fact, my next post this month will be another non-soundtrack CD Collection post covering many different shows. I'll just lay out exactly what I said last time... Take it away, past-past me.

I am still compiling a new list of songs to feature in an upcoming entry of Non-soundtrack Tokusatsu songs. I had a lot of fun making my previous entry, and I have just about as many songs as I did the first time around. I would like some more though.

If you have a song that you would like to have identified that played in an episode of a Tokusatsu series, please drop me a line. I ask that you follow some of the following criteria in your request...

-Show, episode number, and ballpark timestamp (Believe it or not, I can't ID a song that played "at some point in one of the early episodes of Carranger" at least not quickly...). This one is a MUST.

-A link to where I can watch said episode. Again, please save me some legwork. Help me help you...

-Even better--if you could just dice me up a clip and toss it on Youtube...that would be ideal.

-A thank you would be nice. Heh. Sometimes it takes quite a lot of effort to ID a song. While it's beneficial for me to be able to add it to my list, it's also kinda shitty when that person doesn't say thanks or anything after I hit them back with an answer or at least try.

I did recently help out someone with a bit of music from Megaranger. He was nice enough to pull the audio from the episode of the song in question and I was able to answer his request in less than a minute (I happened to know the music in that case...but even if I didn't, it would have saved me a ton of time.

So please hit me up here, on Youtube, or on Twitter if you have any Tokusatsu ear worms. I will do my best to identify them. I also welcome any tracks you identified on your own.


Thanks for taking the time to stop by today. I mostly had to mention the Kamen Rider J Figuart business since it has become a bit of a thing (descent into madness) with me on Twitter. I am really, really excited that not only was it finally previewed, but we're getting the J hand if we get it! All this for a movie that I thought sucked...

Next time I'll be digging into my CD Collection once again. I wonder what it'll be.....



The CD Collection--Super Sentai 8cm CD Singles [Liveman-Ohranger]

Welcome back to the series of posts where I go against better judgement and try to catalog my vast CD Collection. You know...for research. This time I actually posed a poll to Twitter and let them decide. Due to the unique nature of the lead CD in this post, I was given a choice of two genres. Instead of letting me end Metal Hero once and for all (seriously...I've reviewed every music collection and every song--the only thing left is the 8cm singles) Super Sentai was chosen with an 81% win.

Now, since there are quite a few Sentai 8cm CDs left for me to review, I've decided to break them down into four posts. Today I will be looking at Liveman to Ohranger. In January I looked at the fourteen (!) Carranger singles. The final two posts will cover Megaranger-Gingaman (10 CDs) and Gogo Five-Timeranger (10 CDs).

This will be an interesting post to those interested in 8cm CD Singles. It took a few years for the concept to fully take shape, and you'll see the transformation take place all in one post. As always, I do not provide downloads of music featured in these posts on my website. These posts are for reference only since there is a severe lack of information on Tokusatsu CDs on the internet.


Chojuu Sentai Liveman/Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya Mini Album

1988 was a pretty good year for Japanese music. A lot of the junk that polluted the charts in the years prior was on it's way out and the artists with true staying power had finally hit their stride before the slate was basically wiped clean in the early 90s. The most enduring relic of 80s Japanese music was the rise of the Compact Disc. The standard 12cm disc had been around for several years by this point, but the 8cm CD Single format was introduced in mid-1988.

If I wrote this post six weeks ago, this CD wouldn't have been included. Simply put, I didn't know it existed until a month ago. I spotted it for sale at one of my usual CD haunts and immediately grabbed it. What an interesting find! It instantly became one of my favorite CDs in my Tokusatsu CD Single Collection.

I use the term "Single" loosely, however. If you look closely at the bottom corner it says "CD Mini Album". I suppose they weren't quite sure what they wanted to do with this format, so they did a kinda retro-release of the current Sentai and Metal Hero shows--Liveman and Jiraiya. This mini album features the two theme songs from Liveman by Daisuke Shima and the themes from Jiraiya by Akira Kushida.

Both Liveman theme songs are fantastic. There is a certain bleakness to the Liveman theme that fits all too well with the premise of the show, yet it is still suitable as an action tune. If anything, though, it isn't too different from the Maskman opening theme song. The ending song, Ashita ni ikiru ze, has always been one of my favorite ending songs. It kinda marked the long overdue end to disco in Tokusatsu music, but it was a great way to go out.

As for Jiraiya... Well, I'll talk about that when I get around to writing my post on 8cm Metal Hero CDs. Hehe.


Kousoku Sentai Turboranger Shudaika

In the early days of this site I talked about how great of an opening theme song Turboranger has. This, along with pretty much all of the other songs on the song collection, has an incredibly rich sound that makes it stick out among other songs of the era. Kenta Satou sings the opening as well as the ending theme song Zig Zag Seishun Road. I would say that the ending song is better than average, but certainly not among the higher end of my favorite Sentai ending songs.

This CD, which I believed until very recently to be the oldest Super Sentai 8cm Single, is bare on content, but huge in artwork. Just look at that front cover. There was also a 45 single released for Turboranger which you would think has the better artwork, but does not.

As this was a very early 8cm release, it does feature the folding tanzaku style packaging. Basically the bottom half of the tray snaps off, the outer sleeve is folded over, and the packaging is now half the size! The Liveman/Jiraiya CD is also like this. As it was incredibly unpopular to ruin the CD case in the name of slight convenience, most record labels soon caught on and abandoned the creases to fold the sleeve by 1992.

No Karaoke versions of the songs on this disc. It's just the vocal opening and ending theme songs this time.


Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman Shudaika

Now we arrive at Fiveman. Hmmm... The less said about either Fiveman theme song the better. I mean they're OK, but they're the type of song that gets old very quickly. Maybe not as bad as some other theme songs you'll be reading about here today, but they're just not very impressive. The opening theme song is a little bit too repetitive for my tastes. The ending theme, Fiveman, Ai no theme is also incredibly unremarkable and eerily similar at times to the excellent theme song from Tom Sawyer no Bouken (I really do dig that song.......shut up...). Both songs sound incredibly flat when you stand them up to the Turboranger themes.

I can't really say I dig the artwork so much this time around. 1990 was the year that Nippon Columbia finally ditched vinyl, which doesn't leave a 45 alternative to this one. The lyrics are printed on the inner side of the tanzaku this time, like the Turboranger single. This one still features the option to fold the sleeve over.

There is still a disappointing lack of Karaoke tracks. Just the vocal versions of the theme songs here.


Chojin Sentai Jetman Shudaika

Here is the section where just about everyone will question my taste AND credibility.

I really don't like the Jetman theme song. It's repetitive, tacky, and waaay overplayed. The guitars are cool, but the whole affair is just overly peppy considering the show was the first to lay on some heavy emotion that was previously reserved for spandex-free dramas. It's just...not a very good fit. People love it, though.

In an interview in Figure King issue 44, Producer Takeyuki Suzuki seems fairly convinced that the overly-repetitive nature of the theme song to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was inspired by the Jetman opening theme song. I can totally see where he is coming from since there are some similar elements and coincidental timing between the two songs. He must have had some further reasoning behind this claim, but this is all I could get from the interview. However, composer Ron Wasserman has said that the MMPR theme song was created in a very short amount of time with very little reference. My take-away is this... Maybe a third party at Saban had a hand in the situation to link the two stories. It's likely pure coincidence, though. It's very likely, in fact, that Suzuki just labeled both theme songs as something that simpletons would enjoy to sloppily clap along to...in the most polite way, of course.

Now...I may be a heathen for not liking the opening theme song but the ending theme song, Kokoro wa tamago, is an example of one of the finest Sentai songs -fullstop-. While it feels like Hironobu Kageyama was trying to relive some of his CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA glory with the OP, the ending song is something of a quiet masterpiece. THIS is the kind of perfection that CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA is. Everything is utterly perfect this time around. I'm glad, in a way, that he was able to flex his muscle on the outgoing song rather than the hype song. Until he kinda became a parody of himself, Kageyama had incredible range. He introduced many children to what a proper ballad should sound like with Kokoro wa tamago...

This is the first CD to not have the folding style of tanzaku, yet it is the last to not have Karaoke. That's right...just the two vocal theme songs on this one.


Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Shudaika

The Zyuranger theme songs are notable for a few things. One, this is the first set of Sentai theme songs where the singers of the regular OP (Kenta Satou) and ED (Pythagoras) are different. Not only that, but Kenta Satou is an actor...an actor who played Riki/Red Turbo in Turboranger. Remember his character in Zyuranger? Neither do I. He literally has nothing to do with the show outside of the theme and an IN song. Pythagoras was a short-term Columbia artist who composed both Jetman themes, the Zyuranger ending song and a hand full of IN songs between Jetman and Kakuranger. Outside of his two ending song credits, his songs are the ones I tend to skip when I listen to song collections...

The Zyuranger opening song is a little journey into strangeness. What's with that intro? I believe arranger Kenji Yamamoto (of the prestigious Plagiarism Hall-Of-Fame) had just seen the film Total Recall and wanted to experience what it was like to record the ending credit music. He accidentally recorded it...and then recorded the Zyuranger theme song on the same tape. Ehhh not really. That wouldn't explain why it suddenly becomes Total Recall again in the middle of the song. I dig the grandness of the theme song, even though it is a little bit all over the place. It's high-energy, yet not overly peppy like the Jetman theme. It definitely works.

Bouken shite rapapiyaa, the ending song, is one that some people love to hate. I happen to be fond of it myself. I don't know, maybe I like that they were trying something completely different. It's a strange exercise in power-clashing. Sentai theme songs, to this point, were largely complementary of each other. There may have been a handful of shows like Sunvulcan and Liveman that did things a bit differently, but they weren't quite the departure that the Zyuranger themes are. Having this song and the end credits suddenly play right when the episode was getting good was the equivalent of waking up just when a dream was getting really good. Or it's trolling. Toei was trolling us...hard...and I love it.

Oh yeah, this CD has Karaoke! Yes! 1992 was the beginning of the Karaoke revolution that lives on today. Sure, you can't program these discs to work in your Karaoke machine...but having Karaoke versions of the original song is a far better option than settling for a cheap sound-alike. Karaoke versions of both songs here, so four tracks in total.

I should also note that the lyrics are once again printed on a separate sheet of paper from the tanzaku. This sheet of paper was also included with the cassette version of the single.


Gosei Sentai Dairanger Shudaika

This is the very first Tokusatsu CD I ever bought. I had to have the theme songs to Dairanger after watching just the first episode. Both songs remain one of the best examples of how to enter and exit your time on the airwaves. The pair of songs are sung by NEW JACK Takuro who, despite the name, does not do these songs in a New Jack Swing style. Imagine the Dairanger theme song sounding like Boyz II Men's Motownphilly? Actually...the Kakuranger theme song kinda rips that one off a little bit come to think of it. Anyway...Dairanger theme songs...

The theme song is certainly one of my favorite of all of the Sentai theme songs. It is a little bit anti-theme song...but it still works perfectly in a fight. It's a 180° (or 360°, if you're a dumbass...yes, I recently got into an argument over which one was correct) of the Jetman theme song. I guess 'urgent' is the word I'm looking for. It isn't too dark, but it definitely plays up the importance of watching this show. The production is stellar...totally on par with the great sound of the Turboranger songs.

Oretachi muteki sa!! Dairanger is the name of the ending song. This time around, they kinda went back to the formula of having the ending song sync up with the opening song. This one also made my list of best Sentai ending songs for very good reason. It has all of the pros of the opening song (minus the gong) and manages to be completely suitable as an ending song. I love it.

The story is pretty much the same as the Zyuranger single--two vocal, two karaoke and the lyrics are printed on a sheet of paper.


Gosei Sentai Dairanger Kiryoku Disc

I talked about this one some time ago. Basically it's a drama CD that was released as a promotional item with TV-Kun Magazine. I don't have an exact release date, but I assume that it was released around episode 20ish. It's four tracks long and the only real notable thing about it is that the Dairanger cast actually sing on it.

I may have actually uploaded this one to Youtube...hmmm

Anyway, yeah, I file this one under 8cm CD Singles even though it very much isn't one. Physically it is, but the content doesn't quite line-up.


Ninja Sentai Kakuranger Shudaika

Both theme songs from Kakuranger are on par with the Dairanger theme songs, but don't quite line up. I might consider Kakuranger my absolute favorite Sentai, but Dairanger has the better theme songs. That said, I can totally rock out to either one of these songs.

The opening song, Secret Kakuranger by Tou Chi Chen is another anti-theme song of the same ilk as Dairanger's theme. Just like that one, it feels at home in a fight scene despite not outwardly being upbeat. The ending theme, Ninja! Matenrou Kids is bundled well with the opening theme.

The one advantange that both of these theme songs have over the Dairanger theme songs is that they both sound absolutely excellent in their instrumental forms (instrumental replacing the vocals, Karaoke just has the vocals omitted). I especially love the instrumental version of Ninja! Matenrou Kids.

Neither one of the instrumental versions are included here, however we do get Karaoke versions of both theme songs. Same deal with the lyrics...they're printed on a separate piece of paper.


Ninja Sentai Kakuranger Detazo! Kakure Daishogun c/w Muteki Shogun Tadaima Sanjo

Oh wow! This is the first legit single on this list that doesn't feature the theme songs! How about that? It does feature two of the show's mecha theme songs--Detazo! Kakure Daishogun by Hironobu Kageyama and Muteki Shogun Tadaima Sanjo by Takayuki Miyauchi.

Kakure Daishogun really got the first really good mecha theme song of the 1990s...in 1994... OK, maybe that isn't fair. I kinda dig the Fiverobo theme song from Fiveman (also by Kageyama). Speaking of KAGE, I'm not really liking his shaky vocals in this one. What was going on? Still a good song, but I don't think the vocals were all there.

Muteki Shogun, on the other hand, has a pretty lousy theme song. Maybe lousy is too harsh. It's ill-fitting more than anything. This sounds like it belongs as background music in some kind of RPG more than a badass mecha with a flaming sword. Great vocals, lame music (the instrumental part starting around 1:49 is pretty rad, at least). I guess they're opposites of each other...

I would much rather listen to the BGM for either mecha than their actual songs.

The format is the same. Yes to Karaoke, yes to lyrics printed on separate paper.


Choriki Sentai Ohranger Shudaika

I like bringing up the Ohranger theme songs as much as I can. I previously talked about how there is pretty damning evidence to suggest that the series almost *at least* had a very different ending theme song. Whether rumors behind the changes to both theme songs is true (the somewhat late release date of this CD seems to suggest it is) the songs that we did end up getting as theme songs to Ohranger are both quite good. The opening theme, Ole! Ohranger, and the ending theme, Kinkyu Hasshin! Ohranger are both sung by Kentaro Hayami.

Maybe Ole! Ohranger isn't the best theme song...and Niji iro Crystal Sky probably *should* have been the theme song, but it's serviceable. It kinda falls into the repetativeness that I loathed in the Jetman OP, but at least it isn't cheesy. It just fits. I think they ended up with too many songs that sounded like they could have been a theme song and made their selection rock-paper-scissors style.

'Kinkyu Hasshin' is also another great song that works incredibly well as an ending theme song. I personally would have enjoyed to hear something completely out of left field like Kyoko Sound Laboratory's See You Again, but at least what we did end up getting was still very good.

This single has four tracks--two vocal, two karaoke. The lyrics are printed inside the tanzaku this time.

If you haven't already, I recommend checking out my original article on the subject of the abandoned Ohranger theme songs as well as the brief follow-up.


Himitsu Sentai Goranger/JAKQ Dengekitai Time Trip Mini Album

I'm kinda bringing this thing full-circle. I began this post is a somewhat retro release covering two different series...and now I'm ending it the same way. This time, I have a for-real retro release. This single covers the theme songs from Himitsu Sentai Goranger and JAKQ Dengekitai. The Goranger songs, Susume! Goranger (OP) & Himitsu Sentai Goranger (ED1), and JAKQ songs, JAKQ Dengekitai (OP) & Itsuka, hana wa sakudaro (ED) are all by Isao Sasaki (with Mitsuko Horie on the Goranger OP).

Both Goranger themes are classics. I'm sure you've heard them both at some point or another. If only there was a way to be able to hear those songs with a fresh set of ears. Anyway, I like both of the Goranger theme songs included on this disc, but my favorite theme has always been the second ending, Miyo! Goranger. It's a shame they didn't include it. It would have easily fit in with the 24 minute time limit on the disc.

Both JAKQ theme songs are also excellent. They're both pretty subtle affairs, which make them somewhat unique among the early Sentai theme songs. The only real pulse the opening theme song has is the crazy guitar work.

It's just the four vocal tracks on this disc. Surely they could have fit more, but I guess we'd be getting into album territory. The lyrics are printed on a sheet of paper once more.


Recommended Pick: Dairanger Shudaika...hands down winner. Two great theme songs, two great Karaoke versions of the theme songs that truly enhance the experience of the songs. There is some really cool artwork, and it's from an awesome series. This one wins all around!


This is one of those rare situations where you don't have to wait for the next part. As I mentioned earlier, I took a look at all fourteen of the Carranger CD Singles back in January. I'll be back soon enough with the remaining parts in this series on Sentai CD Singles.

As always, be sure to check out my CD Collection page for more articles and an incomplete list of all the stuff I have. I try to add stuff as I get it, but...yeah, that would almost mean daily updates a lot of the time...and who has time for that?

Thanks for stopping by!